Physical Activity in Health Promotion Lab
Ongoing Research Efforts
The PAHP lab is led by Dr. Danae Dinkel and conducts research to better understand factors that influence physical activity as well as how to create an environment conducive for healthy behaviors.
To learn more about the ongoing research in our lab please see below. For further questions regarding ongoing research or if you are interested in getting involved please contact:
To view selected works by Dr. Dinkel please visit https://works.bepress.com/danae-dinkel/.
Physical Activity in Early Childhood
The first 1000 days of a child’s life are critical to development. Understanding the factors related to the development of physical activity habits and promoting these early in life is critical to the long-term health and well-being of children. Specifically, we are conducting studies and/or working with the community on the following projects:
Infant physical activity and motor skill development in relation to obesity
Research efforts to date have focused on examining infant physical activity and postural control at 3 months of age, the onset of sitting, and one-month post-onset of sitting. Future research efforts are focused on examining this relationship from birth to age 2 with the long-term goal of identifying the need for and type of strategies required to increase physical activity and improve motor skill development in infants at-risk for obesity. Currently, we are exploring how parents promote physically active play with normal weight and overweight infants and examining differences in motor development.
Understanding outdoor play in childcare facilities
We are working with colleagues in the College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences to study how toddlers play outdoors in order to better design playground equipment that fits the needs and interests of young children. An infographic highlighting key findings can be found here.
Improving resources for physical activity for childcare providers
We have worked with the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services and Nebraska Go NAP SACC (Nutrition and Physical Activity Self-Assessment for Child Care) to inventory and develop seasonal physical activity resources to support childcare providers in achieving best practices for the promotion of physical activity. These resources are provided below.
Training regarding the seasonal resource guides
- Active Music Ideas
- Additional Physical Activity-Related Training
- Physical Activity Curriculum & Activity Ideas
- Physical Activity Curriculum with Family Educational Materials
- Activity Storytime posters for all ages, infants, toddlers, and preschoolers
- 12-week Physical Activity Guide for Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter
Mental and Physical Support (MAPS) for Moms
We are currently conducting research regarding Omaha area mothers' maternal and infant well-being. The results of these assessments will be used to inform future funding opportunities to improve maternal/infant health. We are currently piloting a group fitness/education program with a community partnership with Well Mama fitness studio.
Select from below for an overview of our findings regarding the needs of pregnant and postpartum women in Omaha:
- Mothers Perceptions
- Service Providers Perceptions
- Comparison of Top Challenges of Mothers and Service Providers
- Physical Activity & Breastfeeding: Perspectives of Omaha Area Mothers
A short overview of a survey we helped to analyze in collaboration with the Nebraska Breastfeeding Coalition regarding women's experience pumping in the workplace can be found here>>
Physical Activity in School-Age Children & Young Adults
The Brain Blasters project was a collaborative effort between UNO, LiveWell Omaha Kids, and Omaha Metro teachers to increase classroom physical activity. Funding was provided by CHI Health. Brain Blasters provides educators with knowledge and resources to incorporate physical activity into their classrooms. The following materials were created from efforts of the original project and are available to the community:
1) Brain Blasters One-Pagers: These PDFs provide tips for utilization as well as information on the latest classroom physical activity research and resources. Each PDF also includes a link to a Brain Blasters video. These can be shared with schools who would like to send them to teachers via weekly e-mails or as print-outs.
- Best Practices
- Classroom Management-Creating a Safe Space
- Fit Fitness In
- Impact of a Brain Blaster
- Maximize Your Space
- The Kinesthetic Classroom
2) Training: There are two options for training:
- A PowerPoint for an in-person training with provided notes and tips for trainers on what can be discussed.
- A link to an online webcast of the training which can be completed online and is self-navigated by the individual.
3) Infographics The national infographic shares the most up-to-date classroom physical activity research. The local infographic displays results of the Brain Blaster findings from teacher survey information collected during the 2014-2015 school year. Both infographics come in a variety of sizes and can be printed or e-mailed.
4) Resource & Video Page This page notes all of the resources found in the Brain Blasters webinar as well as links to all videos created during this project.
We are currently conducting a study examining the overall wellness of college student-athletes. This study includes a focus on student-athletes that are also first-generation college students. Other ongoing research efforts include assessments of student-athletes athletic identity and entrepreneurial characteristics. Past research efforts explored former student-athletes’ wellness as well as coaches’ perceptions of preparation for post-collegiate life.
Physical Activity in Adults
Recent collaborations with WELLCOM, a local non-profit dedicated to workplace wellness, have resulted in a study evaluating the implementation and outcomes of a worksite wellness mini-grant program. Future studies will continue to explore the implementation of wellness programming as well as efforts to understand worksite wellness culture.